New Delhi [India], September 26 (ANI): Pakistan's captain, Babar Azam, has outlined the team's aspirations for the upcoming ICC Men's ODI World Cup as they intensify their preparations for the highly anticipated tournament.
Pakistan are making their first visit to India since they played a bilateral series in 2012-13. Even though the 'Men in Green' are arguably one of the hot favourites, Babar has asserted that their main objective is the World Cup not finishing top four.
"The top four is a small goal for us. We want to come out as winners. We did not have enough time to put together a camp before the World Cup because we had been playing for too long continuously. We wanted to give the players a break so they come back refreshed and with the hunger to win. You play well when you have that hunger," Babar said in a press conference.
Pakistan will be missing the service of their star pacer Naseem Shah, who was bound to open alongside Shaheen Afridi in Pakistan's bowling setup.
Babar talked about how Naseem's injury would impact their plans and how Hasan Ali would be in the bowling attack to fill the void.
"Of course we will miss Naseem Shah as Shaheen [Afridi] and Naseem bowling together gave us a different edge. It was not easy to pick his replacement, but we all sat together and got input from [chief selector] Inzamam ul Haq. We went with Hasan Ali because he has experience. He has played the World Cup before. I cannot comment who will bowl the new ball or the old ball, as we cannot reveal our strategies right now. But we have not made any concrete plans right now, it will become more clear to us when we travel to India and assess the conditions," Babar added.
Ahead of the World Cup, Pakistan will play their warm-up match against New Zealand which is scheduled to take place in Hyderabad on September 29 behind closed doors.
They will kick off their campaign for the World Cup against the Netherlands on October 6 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Pakistan World Cup squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice captain), Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul-Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Wasim. (ANI)